In the late 18th century, a group of French female convicts - among them streetwalkers, murderers, and revolutionaries - are shipped to Devil's Island penal colony. They join the other female convicts already on the island and are forced by the cruel Lefèvre and his abusive guards to pan gold for the French king Louis XVI of France and his Austrian queen Marie Antoinette.
Lefèvre hopes for a promotion, but a new prison governor arrives with a letter from the king and takes command, also putting in place a more humane prison regiment for the women. In reality, the letter is a fake. He is the revolutionary Henri Vallière and in league with the pirates, who in a daring coup help him steal the gold and overturn Lefèvre's rule.
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